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The Journal of biological chemistry

Cloning and functional expression of a cDNA encoding the catalytic subunit of bovine enterokinase.


PMID 8226855

Abstract

Enterokinase (enteropeptidase) is a heterodimeric serine protease that is responsible for the physiological activation of trypsinogen by highly specific cleavage of the trypsinogen activation peptide following the sequence (Asp)4-Lys. In this paper, we report the cloning and functional expression of a cDNA encoding the catalytic domain (light chain) of bovine enterokinase. The nucleotide sequence of this cloned cDNA predicts a 235-amino acid polypeptide that shares a high degree of homology with a variety of mammalian serine proteases involved in digestion, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. We have developed a novel expression method for the enzyme which utilizes the secretory leader and propeptide of the mammalian serine protease PACE fused to the enterokinase light chain amino terminus. Efficient cleavage of the paired dibasic amino acid cleaving enzyme (PACE) propeptide was achieved by coexpression with human PACE or yeast KEX2. The mature product migrates at 43,000 Da on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, comparable to light chain derived from bovine duodena, and exhibited high levels of activity in cleaving the enterokinase-specific fluorogenic substrate Gly-(Asp)4-Lys-beta-naphthylamide. The recombinant single-chain form of enterokinase was also capable of activating trypsinogen, indicating that the specificity of the enzyme for its natural substrate is retained even in the absence of the noncatalytic enterokinase heavy chain.

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ENTK-RO Enterokinase, from calf intestine